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[filmscanners] Re: film and scanning vs digital photography

On Jul 7, 2007, at 3:59 PM, James L. Sims wrote:

> Control of chromatic aberrations become
> proportionately more restrictive.  Then there's Lord Rayleigh's
> Criteria
> regarding Diffraction Limit is just as true today as it was when he
> published it.  Therefore, with today's APO lenses, we can achieve very
> high quality images, with smaller formats.  BUT, to achieve sharp
> images, the minimum acceptable lens aperture size will increase (f:#
> will decrease) because of diffraction.  Having said this, I'm very
> pleased with my Canon 20D, The two lenses I have are incredibly sharp,
> and zoom lenses at that (I did think that no zoom lens could equal a
> prime lens but that may be changing) but I try to stay within its
> limitations - shoot at the lowest ISO that I can get away with and
> control exposure time to stay within a range of f:4 to f:11.
> Jim

These are excellent points. The thing I notice most about working
with digital cameras in general is that all that nonsense about
automation making the process easier is pretty much just that. At
this moment in time you really need to have a very tight leash on
your aperture and ISO, at the very least. If you let the camera pick
your aperture and/or ISO it's just going to lead to trouble.

On the other hand, the output from almost all DSLRs anymore is really
exceptionally good. A few months back I had decided to leave Olympus
and spent a long time agonizing over where I was going to migrate.
I'd owned Canon stuff in the 70's. Loved the L lenses back then.
Thought the F-1 was the greatest camera in the world until I was at a
photo show given by a local paper and they were bench-testing cameras
for free. My Canon wasn't even close to specs. I spent the whole day
there watching cameras being tested. My unofficial tally at the end
of the day showed a higher percentage of Olympus cameras testing
close to spec and that's when I started looking at the Oly stuff. I
was an OM-2n user a month later and hadn't really even looked at
another camera manufacturer seriously since the late 70's. It was
kind of a tough change for me. Heh...anyway, I borrowed cameras from
friends quite a bit during my painful migration. I tried out a
Minolta 7D that seemed really nice. I tried a Pentax K100D that
seemed excellent, actually. I tried a Canon 30D which seemed nice, as
well. At the end of the day the only reason I bought the Nikon was
that the D200 had weather seals and seemed really durable and it
could shoot at 5 fps. I picked up a D200 and an F80 at the same time
because I wanted to be able to share glass between a film body and
digital body. I grabbed a few lenses and they've proven to be really
quite good within a certain range of apertures.

BTW, one of the lenses I bought was the 18-200mm "novelty zoom"
that's been hammered pretty much continually since it was released.
My prime lens set for shooting 35mm cinema is comprised of 18mm,
22mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 200mm primes. The cinema frame size
is very comparable to the APS sensor size and having a single zoom
that could cover the range of all my primes made it a nice tool for
location scouting. Look at the EXIF data later and know right up
front what lenses will need to come out and when. So from that
standpoint it's been handy. It's not the nicest zoom I've ever owned
and it's very plastic-y and it creeps really bad, but for an example
of a bad lens even it isn't all that bad. Somewhere in the middle of
its zoom range the complex distortions go away and image quality gets
pretty decent. Certainly a lot nicer than what we considered to be a
"bad lens" 20 years ago.

And at the end of the day, it's still all about getting out and
taking photos. I have a little day trip planned for tomorrow. I was
just getting ready. ;-)


Tomorrow morning I am headed out to Tracey, Farmington, Linden,
Clements and Sonora. I'm off to hunt down the locations used in the
filming of 'Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry' and take photos of them from as
close as possible to the perspectives used in the film. Just for
kicks, really. Those cities are all still really small. Sonora is the
biggest at about 3000 people. I tend to imagine that a lot of the
locations haven't changed much. It should make a fun little document
of those places and it gives me an excuse to shoot some film in an
interesting way. I printed out a bunch of frame grabs from the movie,
put together some maps and pulled out some film to shoot. It's the
nerdy days out doing stuff like this that make all the sweating out
technical details worthwhile. ;-


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